Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A View Of The Fifth Beatle


One of my earliest memories is learning how to use the stereo back in the day so I could jam to music by Freda Payne, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and all sorts of 70s soul. I was about 2 or 3 and could barely reach the stereo, but I did what I had to so I could dance - usually at a totally inappropriate time or hour - whenever the groove hit me.

A favorite of mine was "Outta Space," by Billy Preston. He played, collaborated, and influenced the Beatles so much, he was often called the "fifth Beatle." He was the only musician to play with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. He wrote the Joe Cocker classic, "You Are So Beautiful." He got his start as a pianist for gospel legend Mahalia Jackson when he was 10 years old.

Billy Preston made his transition today. He was only 59 years old. If you've never heard that song, turn off your computer immediately, go to the nearest music store and pick up a copy of his greatest hits. If you have, go to the nearest music store and pick up a copy anyway. It would be a wonderful tribute to the man and his talent. If there is an afterlife, it's a lot funkier now.

Rest in peace Billy, and rock it out when the groove strikes.

More to come later.

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